In a research note from KGI, a financial analytics group out of China, oft-cited analyst Ming-Chi Kuo places the responsibility for the shortages in new iPhone 5 connectors squarely on the shoulders of a shift in the specific supplier of the connector from Foxconn (Hon Hai) to Foxlink (Cheng Uei), due to lower yield rates of the new unit type from Foxconn.
AppleInsider also reports sources saying that Apple has requested Foxlink pick up the slack and dedicate more workers and production lines to the Lightning cable production line.
Lightning is a totally different component than the previous 30-pin connector, requiring new methods of production, says the report. The previous star in the 30-pin dock connector production line was Foxconn, which took half or more of the orders from Apple when that accessory was on all iOS devices. Now that the iPhone 5 is the first to use the new Lightning connector, they only receive 40 percent of the current orders, as compared to Foxlink’s reported 60 percent.
The end result of the lower production yields is a shortage of supply for the connector cables, with an increasing demand from the first iPhone 5 adopters, which went on sale last Friday. While we all would love more cables to use to charge our iPhone 5s, let’s hope that any new directives from Foxconn and/or Foxlink will not lead to more poor work conditions or rioting. We can wait.
Whether Apple anticipated this shortage or not, it does show the incredible difficulty in switching from the long-used and well entrenched 30-pin adapter to the new, perhaps technically better Lightning connector. Currently, the $19.00 part is showing as having a 2-3 week shipping delay on the Apple Store website.
- Source Apple Insider